Cargo ship Elpida arrived at the port of Vassiliko on Monday where it is to be stripped and cleaned ahead of its sinking off Larnaca in March 2018 to serve as an artificial reef and point of interest for divers.
The Greek-flagged vessel, built in 1965, had sailed from Antikira in Greece. It will be sunk off the coast of Larnaca, in the Oroklini area.
“It is an important day for Larnaca because one of the objectives in the bid to establish our district among the most noteworthy diving destinations in Europe is becoming a reality,” said Dinos Lefkaritis, Larnaca’s tourist development board chairman.
The fisheries department said Elpida will be the biggest ship sunk in the Cypriot sea as part of the European fund for fisheries and aquaculture.
The ship will contribute towards increasing sea life in the area, especially fish populations, fisheries department official Giorgos Payiatas said.
Elpida will also be an attraction for divers.
“The vessel in question is excellent for diving and with certain additions that will be made to increase interest for divers, we are certain many foreign tourists will want to visit it,” said Tasos Zackheos, representing the association of the district’s diving centres.